Are the long, cold and grey days of winter beginning to get to you? Have yourself care efforts been interrupted by bouts of the flu or just plain exhaustion from having to wake up earlier to scrape that ice off your car windows and shovel the snow?
Is your new years intention to put your self care higher on your priority list, a fading memory of enthusiasm?
it can be all to easy to become passive towards our self care when in the midst of the winter dreariness and yet, it’s when we need it the most.
As a mid-westerner, it’s these times that I have to amp up my self care in its potency.
Different Seasons= Different Self Care
Self care needs to shift with the different seasons because our needs change as we try to adapt to the climates. As someone who lives in the midwest, I can tell you, the influence of the seasons is very real.
I know for me at this time of year, my self care needs to be more mighty in it’s dosage of love and nurturing and for that I do a little planning in advance BEFORE I get to this point in the year.
Years ago, the winters were times when I’d completely let myself go. The climb back to my self care routines was long and hard. I made a commitment at some point to put more intention into not allowing the derailment get so far and realized my self care needed to be more customized to my seasonal needs
Here is a list of 12 acts of winter self care that have helped me feel supported, taken care of and have staved off the winter blues.
- Meals with more quality fat: avocados, coconut oil, whole fat yogurt and butter keep me my sugar cravings away and my moods more even keeled.
2. Eat Seasonally
- Meals with more root vegetables and squashes satisfy me for longer periods of time and also keep away my cravings
- Water water water; indoor heaters dehydrate like crazy
4. Let There Be Light!
- I switch out one regular light bulb in the living room and kitchen to full spectrum, since when at home, I spend the most time there. This kind of light mimics sunlight and tricks me to perk up. I also light candles because no matter how technologically savvy and advanced we become, nothing can replace the comfort that fire provides. I really like these because their scent is subtle yet fills up the room well.
5. Bring The Garden Indoors
- Fresh flowers in a vase every week and a half or so, brightens up a room instantly. I love setting them on the kitchen table next to our candle so while we eat, we have the flowers and the flicker of the candle in between us. I feel abundant just looking at that and notice our family conversations at the table are much more engaged.
- Smell is one of those things that instantly change our mood without our intellectual filtration. It’s subtle and powerful. Aside from my candles, good quality incense is another favorite. For my body I use essential oils, my favorites are tangerine and rose. As I get out of the shower, putting these fragrances on me also has me feel indulgent, abundant and fresh
- I’ve made different playlists according to my moods. I have playlists for times I need to get things done and I’m dragging myself, for when I want to relax and soothe myself, or when I want to be uplifted. Spotify is great for this. They actually have playlists to choose from according to moods so if your not sure where to start you can play with what they offer.
8. Let Salt Take Away The Dreariness
- Even if I can’t do an all out bath with Epsom salts, literally taking table salt and placing it in a small bowl to dip into as I lather up in the shower and use as a scrub, suffices to feel refreshed and light. There’s something about salt that seems to soak up all our stress.
- Keep things circulating. I have made a makeshift walking desk that has made all the difference in my energy. The more I move the more I want to move, the less I move, the less I want to move and the more hassle it is. Every little proactive little step to move more even if it’s parking a little farther from the grocery store entrance, is one step away from the inclination vegetate.
10. Herbal Teas
- I make big gallon sized batches of tea that are boiled with cubes of sugarcane and handfuls of cinnamon, black pepper, holy basil, ginger and cloves. This particular combination soothes me, keeps me warm, keeps my mood lifted and my immunity strong
11. More Sleep
- It may mean a little nap of 20 minutes or literally getting to bed earlier to have a whole hour extra. Sleep restores our nervous system and hormonal balance like nothing else will. You can check out my post on 5 things that have helped me get deeper quality sleephere and my second post on deep sleep here.
- I like colorful clothes in general but I take extra attention to be sure the clothes colors I choose invoke feelings of zest and vibrancy at this time of year. I’m with myself all day and am the one that has to look at what I’m wearing the longest so why not make sure I enjoy it? Think of color as a decadent dessert for your eyes. If your eyes were beings that could talk, what would they say if you told them you wanted to treat them to a dessert? Would they say feed me crisp winter green tones with a side of tiger prints? Would they say feed me raspberry tones sprinkled with a touch of glitter and sheen? Feed your eyes colors that speak to you with the clothes you wear.
I make an intention to practice all of these every day, apart from my morning self care routine, starting in January. Although doing these things all year round is great for self care, I know for me, if I skip out on drinking tea, wearing colorful outfits or naps in the spring time, the sunshine and added time outdoors overrides it all and it’s not that big of a deal.
In the winter though, every little step taken to practice as much of these in one single day as possible, builds a momentum. One day turns into a week, which turns into months and before I know it, spring is here again and my winter was not one long gloomy wait for the spring, but a season I enjoyed.
How do you prevent the winter blues from encroaching upon you?
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Sending you love, a reminder to take care of yourself and a big thank you for stopping by!